Top Ten List
Being a book junkie, what should I ask the author about but her Top Ten Recommended Gaslamp Fantasy Books. Here they are:
1) The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers
2) The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma
3) The Map of the Sky by Felix J. Palma
4) The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
5) 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
6) The Great Impersonation by E. Phillips Oppenheim
7) The Mystery of Dr. Fu Manchu by Sax Rohmer
8) The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
9) War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
10) The War in the Air by H.G. Wells
Genre: Speculative Fiction, Gaslight Fantasy, Alternative History
Publisher: MX Publishing
Publication Date: May 15, 2016
– Trina King, Amazon Reviewer
“How’s my friend, the mad scientist?” Wendell asked after greeting me with a firm manly slap on the back so hard it almost knocked the wind out of me.
He sank into my thinking chair throwing his coat on top of my worktable. Several displaced pages of sheet music slid on to the floor.
“Some kind of fire or explosion created a commotion nearby. Rumors seemed to fly with the wind,” he explained trying to catch his breath, coughing and breathing heavily. “I was walking by Spittal Street Lane on the way over to your place, and it looked like it was happening near your friend, Whit’s flat. Whatever occurred created a crowd on the street eager to watch the spectacle. Didn’t think I’d ever make it over here in time to squeeze in one of your excursions before my next class. So, John, show me this time machine you built.”
I could barely hear our conversation over the racket I was making assembling all the components for his trip. He was eager to see if my device would successfully work on him and that I wasn’t just playing him for a fool.
Wendell preened his feathers in my mirror while I took out a tool kit and began tightening a few screws.
“Wendell, backwards or forwards? Your choice.”
“Do you want to explore the past or the future?” I explained, forgetting he wasn’t used to time travel phraseology.
“The future, of course. How could one resist discovering what lies ahead and that which has never been recorded in any way, shape or form?”
“The future it is, then. However, Wendell, I must give you a fair warning. So far, every time I’ve traveled into the future I’ve turned into a woman.”
“Ha! A lady! You must be pulling my leg!”
“C’est vrai mon ami. You might not even speak the same language any more. This could be quite a shock.”
“John, I started out in medical school. After handling corpses and performing plenty of surgeries, there’s very little that can rattle my nerves.”
“I’ll take your word on that.”
He loosened his tie. “John, let’s get started. I can’t wait to see whom I’m going to wind up as in the future. For the life of me, I fail to comprehend why we cannot stay the same.”
“Don’t be upset if you look in the mirror and don’t recognize the person staring back at you. I’m still learning this process and can’t guarantee results. For all I know, you might wind up back in the past, instead. Promise me, that whatever you encounter, you won’t blame me for it.”
“Very well,” Wendell sighed as I began securing the leather straps to his head while he wrinkled his brow with suspicion. “Is there any chance you could also hook yourself up to this device so we can travel through time together? I’d hate to venture into any strange, unknown land without my best friend by my side.”
I laughed, “You’ve traveled the world more than I have. The farthest I’ve gotten out of Scotland is to London. I’ve never even once had the chance to cross the Channel.”
“Yes, but I’ve never gone back or forth in time,” he replied with concern.
“Golly, I don’t own two of them. I’ve been working on a spare but haven’t finished yet. Let me think of something.”
If the two of us traveled together, then we could keep an eye on each other to make sure neither one of us got into trouble, so that sounded like a good idea. Thus, I pulled up a second chair beside him and applied final touches to assure his apparatus was secure. My connecting wires took several attempts before they stayed put. Next, I started hand-cranking the gears and dropping my mystery mineral pellets into that special steam canister. Quickly, I sat down and strapped on my headgear from a spare I had constructed, causing enough sparks to fly to fear being electrocuted.
Once everything was under control, I grabbed my decanter of port and took a swig. I put a soothing record on my gramophone to drown out the barking dog outside, adjusted the leather straps on my time travel device and eased back into my chair so we could get underway. At first, the whirring of the gears and the hissing of the steam was distracting, and I could see that Wendell must have had an itch in his pants by the way he squirmed in his chair.
“Take this, my friend,” I whispered as I passed him the wine and insisted that he drink, like I did, straight from the bottle.
After gulping at least five times without taking a breath, Wendell wiped his hand on his jacket sleeve.
“Much better,” he said, “Promise me, John, we won’t encounter Morlocks.” He was referring to the creatures in Wells’ The Time Machine and was apprehensive.
“Sorry, brother, I cannot promise anything. Get ready for the ride!”
Steam began to fill the room making it look like a foggy dawn. Wendell gave my hand a firm squeeze for one final goodbye. Between the two of us consuming almost all of the wine, we finally floated into a new realm of reality as smoothly as a tightly fitting glove and as simply as changing one’s socks.
Read the First Three Chapters
– Susan Breen, Amazon Reviewer
$10 Amazon Gift Card
5 x Copies of Silent Meridian (US – print, International – eBook)
About Elizabeth Crowens